They are old Dell's and surprisingly resistant to Linux installations: I tried a few when they were first given to me, but I couldn't get any to work.
Maybe I'll try again.
Mint would still rely on many old components. Gutting it and using a pi would remove some of that risk. If I'm right that a pi needs a screen, input devices, a box and maybe output ports to work then it seems a pretty good idea.
I bet there's even a market for churning them out and old laptops can effectively be had as landfill.
When you get problems. Ten seconds googling suggest it's a goer.
And he's already built a 3D printer.
||And he's already built a 3D printer.|